PROGRAM TITLE:	Quantitative Links Research
ACTIVITY STREAM:	Processes
SCIENCE ELEMENT:	Climate and Hydrological System, Biogeochemical 
Dynamics

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

DESCRIPTION:  Objectives of the Quantitative Links research program are to 
establish the relationships among atmospheric processes, changes in radiative 
fluxes, and/or changes in local temperature and long-term changes in global 
temperature (or other changes in climate).  A broad range of research on the 
linkages between changes in atmospheric composition and global change is 
conducted.  Measurements to quantify the relationship are the primary focus.

The research is entering the fourth year of a five program and has completed 
a mid-term technical peer review.  Research includes measurements and 
characterization of cloud condensation nuclei for climate model 
development, methane flux measurements from peat bogs, and laboratory 
measurements of aerosol optical properties.  Statistical analyses of the climatic 
data are also conducted.  Each project addresses an uncertainty in the 
quantification of the link between increasing greenhouse gases and global 
climate change.  The research is therefore highly relevant to cause and effect 
linkages related to greenhouse gas policy issues.

STAKEHOLDERS:  The national and international measurement, modeling, 
and integrated assessment communities require specific data on atmospheric 
processes to reduce scientific uncertainty and establish the link between 
increasing greenhouse gases and global change.  The Quantitative Links 
research provides such critical data.  For example, the program provides data 
to assess the potential increase in atmospheric methane from selected 
human-influence and natural sources; cloud optical characteristic for ARM; 
process parameterizations for CHAMMP; and analyses of the climatic record 
as a forecast tool for future climate change.  

SHORT-TERM POLICY PAYOFFS:  The research is directly relevant to the 
central question of cause and effect.  The Quantitative Links program was 
designed to provide information into the science and policy process within 
five years of initiation.  The methane data feeds directly into the data base for 
predicting future atmospheric concentration of greenhouses gases under 
scenarios of changing climate.  The field experiments were conducted under 
"normal" and drought conditions.  Initial analysis of the temperature 
observations over the last 100 years, indicates that the data themselves are not 
a good forecaster of the future trend.  This provides the integrated assessment 
researchers limits on use of the data as well as reenforces the need for 
improved predictive models. Such products directly contribute to both 
National assessments and to the IPCC.  The knowledge base is and will be 
used in technical evaluations of greenhouse gas sources  and sinks in relation 
to energy emissions and thus supports the National Energy Policy Act 
objectives.

PROGRAM CONTACT:  Michael R. Riches, DOE, ER-74, Washington, DC 
20585, 301-903-3264